non-invasive native groundcovers ...do they exist?
and do they exist in evergreen form?
my reason for asking:
* we don't want to put down landscaping mat
* we don't want to use mulch anymore, it's getting expensive as the beds continue to get cut out farther and farther, reducing the grass as much as possible
* we don't want to use anything that will grow out of control and require trimming and supervision like 'creeping fig' and 'vinca'
* i'm tired of spending hours in the spring removing chickweed, fescue, indian strawberry and similar pests from the sedums we planted in mid-'07
we would like to find something native, if possible, preferrably something evergreen that will fill in but not run over into other areas (controlled spread), that will choke out weeds and is relatively drought-tolerant.
it would be great to have something that would get to full fill within 12-18 months - something that has an end size of, say...18"-36" diameter, so we don't need to buy 100-150 plants?
"showy" is preferred.
"okay to walk on occasionally" would be great also.
the area we're looking to cover will be partial sun only, fairly well drained, and its nearest friends would be paper trees, fatia, oak-leaf hydrangeas, several diff't ninebark, fig tree, grancy greybard, a few ferns, witch hazel and some heucheras.
i know i'm probably looking for the "perfect plant" that doesn't exist, but ... a gardener has gotta try, right?
suggestions are greatly appreciated!